A student-teacher consultation about the proposed tuition fee increase in AY 2014-2015 was held last February 20, 2014, at the Arthur Dingman Bldg. case rooms 203-205 around 3 in the afternoon. The event was headed by the USC Administrators in participation with the College Faculty Union(CFA), Administrative Employees Association(AdEA) and the USC-Supreme Student Council(SSC). The session was focused mainly on raising the concerns of the students about the proposed TOFI along with the demands of the salary increase by the faculty.

The consultation started with a presentation of proposals for salary adjustments, assumptions and implications by Fr. Generoso Rebayla, Vice-President for Finance, which was followed by the CFA & AdEA, South Campus and North Campus Teachers’ Proposals. The proposals include the 8% Salary adjustments, Health Maintenance Organization(HMO) coverage adjustment from 150,000 to 200,000 and the increase of Php 1000 in Uniform Allowance. Rebayla continued with the various assumptions to the increases and decreases on unit monetary values on specific college subjects & enrolments by the year 2016. As a wrap for the presentation, a proposed Php 2,268.76 of average semestral tuition fee increase was manifested and alteration of some laboratory fees was also discussed.

Zach Selma, SSC President, immediately argued about the other fees involved such as the lab fees which was promptly responded to by Fr. Anthony Salas, Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Lucille Quisaot, SSC Vice President, raised also the concern about the 8% salary increase where in fact the reported inflation rate in the country is only 4.7%. Ms Brenette Abrenica, Community Extension Services Head, tackled the breakdown and reason behind the 8% salary increase and the difference of inflation rates in Region 7. “It is just a reasonable and viable percentage of increase in comparison to the no tuition fee increase last year. It would just merely suffice the teachers’ demands also,” said by Abrenica.

Active participation through raising concerns of the students about repressive school policies, issues on teacher incompetence & hostility and such were observed with SSC councillors Maria Gigante, Gea Ecoy, Nicole Ponce, among others. The adjustments on the HMO coverage were slashed out of the proposals by way of priorities in the teachers’ concerns and the SSC’s arguments.

A profound exchange of ideas and opinions is evident within the consultation. This led to a number of deliberations within the SSC to come up with an official statement with the CFA, AdEA and Admin to decrease the Tuition Fee increase to 7.39% included still the 8% salary increase of the faculty, uniform allowance and a 3-year moratorium on the tuition fee increase border of 7.39%. Each participating group were requested to create their individual statements to be submitted to CHED which is going to be consolidated and officially signed and released by February 26, Wednesday.

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